Channelling consumer opinion online
Harnessing the power of market research
In an age where knowledge is power, online market research is quickly becoming an invaluable tool for tracking consumer habits, predicting trends and preparing for change.
The internet poses both challenges and opportunities for businesses. Interconnectivity allows opinions to be shared instantaneously, with social media channels giving consumers a tremendously powerful voice. However, quantifying and controlling opinions online is a tricky task.
Some business interpret opinion sharing on the internet as being a logistical nightmare. Given the scope and seemingly uncontrollable nature of the beast that’s quite understandable. After all, views are easy to express but very difficult to quantify. Without a middle ground, acting on the wealth of insight being created online is arduous.
Market research is enjoying a renaissance thanks to the capabilities of the internet. Today, collecting 1,000 respondents in less than 24 hours is easily possible and using omnibus polls, trackers and other longitudinal studies is similarly doable. Not only are there a range of ways to track consumer opinion, but research can be broken down and segregated to meet the demands of commissioning groups. Whether you’re looking to explore how mothers are using the internet or how their children interact on social networks, research can be as specific or as broad as you like, opening up a wealth of possibilities.
Types of research
There are several different types of online market research, which can be broadly segregated into two types.
• Longitudinal vs Cross-sectional study
This is the difference between research carried out at a single point in time compared to research conducted over a period of time. Tracker studies are an example of longitudinal studies and have become a very popular means of research online, taking views across a period of time. However, cross-sectional studies remain an industry preference, as they provide instantaneous results which appeal to the media and present direct results.
• Quantitative vs Qualitative
Quantitative studies deal with descriptions, rather than numbers, which is on the quantitative side. The former is about getting more detail on a personal level, often comprising of research groups made up of small numbers so people can be observed in more detail. The latter deals with measurable data which can be taken in large numbers in an attempt to gauge a ‘general consensus’ on a subject, such as the full service or quick PR studies.
The beauty of online market research is that it offers far more control in regards to who the questions are posted to. Rather than throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks, you can target audiences and be assured that responses are relevant to your intended target group.
At Atomik Research, we offer a range of survey types which can be directed towards a multitude of panels. Our Quick PR survey and Full Service Survey form the basis of our offering, but we have a number of other research types available, from omnibus studies to instant polls, consumer insight, telephone and face-to-face interviews and focus groups.
Crucially, we have a wealth of different panels to post questions to. From finance groups to health, travel and home owners we have all the bases covered, and our children, teens, mums and over 50s panels ensure all the demographics are taken care of. We even have specialised groups, such as business owners, mobile phone owners and pet owners, not forgetting our international and European panels.
Get in touch today to discuss your options.